‘Life Shouldn’t be Printed on Dollar Bills’ fed almost all of my intense DaiHaru shipping needs, so if you’ve been put off by shipping chatter, turn back now!
Good god, y’all. This episode felt like the Fugou Keiji season finale, and if Shigemaru hadn’t escaped it likely would have been. And it would have been a very satisfying one at that. ‘Life Shouldn’t be Printed on Dollar Bills’ was the payoff for all the anxiety the past few episodes have put us through, with Haru and Daisuke having a big moment of understanding while unraveling the mysteries of the Kambe Group, but we still have one more episode left thanks to Shigemaru’s crafty escape. Now we get Haru and Daisuke on the same page working to take out the Final Boss and my shipper heart is weak just thinking about what we’re going to get next week.
Seriously, this review is going to be seen through shipper goggles and I can’t stop it. You’ve been warned. Honestly, how could I not after all of that?
The episode begins right where last week’s left off. Daisuke is being threatened by one of Shigemaru’s henchmen (who was apparently modeled after Mads Mikkelsen?) while Haru stands by unable to fire his weapon to save him. Despite their short time together, they’ve somehow mastered their wordless communication with, because all it takes is for Daisuke to slightly move his eyes for Haru to fully understand what plan he has in mind. Haru hears the message loud and clear and drops a shipping container in the middle Daisuke and the henchman’s fistfight, allowing Daisuke to escape.
After this battle, we get a series of meaningful moments between Haru and Daisuke as they explore the ship (physical ship, but honestly, shippy ship too). Haru is obviously concerned about Daisuke’s well being as its clear he suffered some injuries from the fight, but Daisuke is resistant to every act of care that Haru gives him. He physically slaps him away several times.
That doesn’t matter, though, because Haru cares and it’s obvious. They just don’t communicate their concern for each other in the same way. While Daisuke isn’t receptive to Haru’s physical ways of showing care, he obviously reciprocates the feeling of respect as he puts himself in harm’s way to shove Daisuke out of the path of gunfire.
To put it simply, they have different love languages – Haru is very physical with his concern of Daisuke’s well being while Daisuke is more about acts of service (by jumping in front of bullets, apparently) – but I have no doubt that they care for each other and are looking out for each other in their own way. A lot of their conflict comes from them misreading each other as they show these things. They often get offended by the other’s actions, with Haru assuming everything Daisuke does comes from arrogance while Daisuke assumes everything Haru does comes from doubt of their abilities or disapproval over Daisuke’s methods (which, I guess isn’t entirely wrong, but still not always the case).
This conflict comes to a head, however, when Daisuke reveals that he’s really been seeing who Haru is this entire time. He’s been watching him and cataloging Haru’s actions. While Haru has downplayed his own abilities and brushed his role off as being that of ‘just a civil servant’ incapable of heroic acts, Daisuke knows that he’s actually very capable and just needs to view his own actions without all the self-doubt.
“For all this time, before being a civil servant, you’ve been a hero. Your job is to make justice happen, Inspector Katou.”
These lines play out over a flashback sequence with very dramatic music (guys, I cried at this part) showing all the heroic moments Haru has had over the past 9 episodes. He’s leaped in to save the day without a second thought repeatedly, but his trauma from his misfire incident clouds his judgment for these moments. He doesn’t think of himself as capable of being a hero.
With his faith in himself restored, Haru finally pulls the trigger of his gun, breaking the line of coolant and causing the entire ship to start to break down. I knew the gunfire would eventually be a climactic moment, but I was wrong about what would end up getting shot. It wasn’t Shigemaru, as I suspected, but an inanimate object. But hey, it was still a very dramatic moment that I’m probably going to watch 20 times in a row because it made me so damn emotional. Holy crap, that scene was phenomenal.
With the tension between Daisuke and Haru alleviated and that literal Chekhov’s gun finally fired, the only thing left to do is to arrest Shigemaru. But before they can do so, he takes control of HEUSC and sends it after Daisuke. The chaos gives him a chance to escape justice, which is ostensibly a bad thing, but also means this fantastic show isn’t quite over yet. We can enjoy these characters for another week.
Outside of all these wonderful Daisuke-Haru moments, there was a lot about ‘Life Shouldn’t be Printed on Dollar Bills’ to love. We got the return of Daisuke’s aquatic suit, as well as kick-ass hand-to-hand combat moments. The Mads Mikkelsen-styled villain’s weapon was also way cool, and even though he kept firing it at our heroes, I couldn’t help but enjoy the sound and design surrounding the weapon.
Suzue also had a moment to shine as she calmly sipped her Boba tea and sent a bunch of drones to their rescue with a delicate flick of her wrist. I hope the speculation about Suzue actually being a bad guy is wrong because I love her as a sidekick far too much. She’s amazing. But we do have an entire episode to fill, so we could be in for a shock. Oh well. If they do that, I’ll just have to write some fix-it fic for us. Stay tuned.
Are you guys ready for the finale? I’m not. This so has been my comfort show during these incredibly stressful times. I look forward to what’s to come, for sure, but I also don’t want to say bye to it. My only hope is that this thriving fandom continues to produce content (myself included!) so that we don’t have to say goodbye after next week’s episode. This has been such an amazing journey and I want it to last a lot longer than this.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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